EU Alumni Perspective: Greg W. Kay
Name: Greg W. Kay
Graduation Year: 1987
Major: Journalism (aka Communications)
Current Position: Retired Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Diplomatic Corps
City and State: Cypress, TX
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Between 1990 and 2015, I served as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Corps, both domestically and abroad. The majority of my 25-year federal career involved serving in a communications role between the American government, often in U.S. diplomatic missions abroad, and host-country nations. In this capacity, I elucidated White House policy to foreign governments, shared aspects of American culture to foreign audiences, and facilitated academic exchanges between global youth and U.S. universities. I also served in a State Department spokesman role while assigned to American embassies and consulates abroad, appearing in print and broadcast media to further Washington’s policy goals, according to outreach guidance. After retiring, I returned to my hometown of Houston and currently enjoy more time with extended family, socialize with friends old and new, travel internationally and domestically as the Covid-19 situation permits, and consider amateur photography to be a lifelong passion.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
I would say my favorite Evangel memory, in addition to making genuine, life-changing friendships, was the message of service that every professor and staff member conveyed to students during my years there. All things considered, I believe EU is unique in its sincere effort to encourage a sense of selflessness in the young lives it influences. Post-graduation, I felt confidently equipped with a sense of divine purpose that EU had carefully, deliberately worked to develop in each student. I employed this “ministry aspect” into all of the work I performed in the years following.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
As noted above, I believe Evangel does a very good job of motivating the student body to envision their footprint in the big-picture sense, wherever life may take them. I certainly felt that way, and immediately after graduation, served as part of an AG missions assignment on gospel radio at the Brussels-based Continental Theological Seminary (CTS) between 1987-89. The following year, 1990, is when I began my government career, and looking back, I see very clearly that the formative years I had spent at the university prepared me well for what lay ahead.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
In my opinion, Evangel is well-equipped to take young people eager to do good in the world, foster their developing focus on serving others, and turn them into ready-to-go professionals. I was no exception to this— I felt there was much for me to get involved with, especially after going on a two-year European missions assignment after graduation. My perspective matured and expanded after experiencing the spiritual needs there firsthand. And all of the school’s employees are helpfully at students’ disposal. The loving “push out of the nest” that graduates feel upon leaving – if I am any indication – is one of ever-greater focus on serving as Christ’s hands, feet, and voice around the world.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
I would advise paying as much attention to your spiritual life and future goals (to the degree that they can be known at graduation) as you do to your academic career. As humans we are bifurcated beings, and as life continues to demonstrate, our Christ-minded attitudes are just as important (if not more so) as the professional services we perform. I am grateful to have taken that vital lesson with me thanks to Evangel’s dedicated faculty, staff, and student body, and cherish it to this day.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
This is a relevant question, because during my last two years with the State Department, I had the privilege of being part of the hiring team for the U.S. Diplomatic Corps. In that scenario, we looked for an across-the-board, well-rounded background in each candidate, and I’m pleased to say I feel we hired some of the nation’s best and brightest as a result of our culling through multitudes of applicants. Applying this to Evangel graduates, I feel confident there would be a clear moral compass evident in every student, making an appearance with every word they speak— in addition, of course, to their impressive, burgeoning professional “bona fides”. In the same way that there is a heavenly-stamped “mark” on every believer, Evangel graduates would shine just as brightly from within as they do from without.